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3 stars Phaedra's illegitimate brother.

Really, REDSHIFT have recreated the 1974-77 TANGERINE DREAM experience so faithfully their music is often indistinguishable from the real thing. I don't mean to sound disparaging here: REDSHIFT produce the most gorgeous soundscapes, but it's just impossible to think of anything else but 'Phaedra' when listening to the title track of this, their debut album. Does a slowly morphing sequencer pulse overlain by synth washes, choral synth sounds and flute tunes sound familiar to you? The instruments are the same, the compositional shapes are the same, even the bpm is the same.

If you love TANGERINE DREAM, you'll have one of two reactions to this. You'll either hate the virtual plagiarism here, or you'll adore the chance to revisit that fabulous period in electronic history. My reaction is the latter. I can't help myself: six minutes into the first track, when the sequenced pulses arrive, it's all I can do to keep still. Beautiful, majestic, stunning. Many will take points off for lack of originality, though.

Not me. I don't care how many times it's been done before. If it moves me it wins, simple as that.

There are four tracks on the album. The first and last are enormous canvases, spreading galaxy-sized sounds across the listener's senses. The middle two are small moons orbiting the gas giants. Though it is 33 minutes long, 'Blueshift' isn't quite the triumph 'Redshift is, and is much more ambient without communicating that same sense of power and wonder. Even the most patient listener will be waiting for that heartbeat to stop ...

REDSHIFT will go on to produce studio albums sufficiently different from this to please the discerning electronica lover. They'll also issue live albums with that retro TD sound. So, both bases covered. An important addition to the genres of spacemusic and progressive electronica.

Report this review (#169144)
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I am a huge fan of electronic music, both of the type that one finds here on PA and also modern electronica/IDM, a genre which I also find to be truly progressive.

Redshift had escaped my attention but the reviews here took my eye and after sampling some tracks I took the plunge. I was not disappointed. Of the four albums I have thus far, this is probably my favourite.

As a big fan of the 1970s halcyon days of Tangerine Dream, I couldn't fail to be impressed by Redshift. Using the old 70s analogue technology, they have produced music very much in the vein of TD. It is clear they too are big fans. However, for my money some of the material on Redshift is superior to that of their predecessors. I am sure some will be horrified to read this, but it is true. Some may find them to be wholly derivative, and the influence is clear, but such is the quality of the music offered, I am totally enveloped. This is wonderful stuff, almost like a missing TD album from 1975. It really is that good. And the even better news is that whilst with TD we were lucky to get 35 minutes of music on an album, Redshift clocks in at well over an hour.

As for the structure of the album, we have two long pieces bookending the album with two shorter pieces in the middle. Redshift the opener is not far off 20 minutes in length, full of ethereal mellotron and classic pulsing sequencers. Fabulous stuff, and as Russellk has pointed out, not too far away from Phaedra. The closing Blue Shift is out of this world for the first quarter hour, truly wonderful stuff. However the last ten minutes or so consists of a heartbeat, and loses its impact for me.

The two shorter pieces, Spin and Shine are simply amazing. I would struggle to find anything within this entire genre to compete with the quality of these two tracks. The most stunning atmospherics you could ever hope to hear. The combination of mellotron and sequencer on Spin is simply awe inspiring. Listen to Shine with headphones on and sail away into the cosmos. If you are a fan of electronic prog, give these a listen and you will see what I mean. A TD fan's ultimate dream.

I am sorely tempted to go for 5 stars here. Wholly original or not, this is a work of the very highest calibre. The last ten minutes or so of Blueshift does detract a little from the overall though. 4.5 stars would be about right. Totally recommended.

This band is prodigious in output and I have another dozen or so albums from Redshift to get. I plan to enjoy the journey!

Report this review (#512937)
Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars '90s take on classic Berlin school style electronic music with subtle touches that make the difference.

Redshift's debut, self-titled album has all of the electronic grandeur as Tangerine Dream's classic era and the epic progression of Klaus Schulze's classic era, but with slightly improved production quality. To be honest, Redshift does kind of sound like a long lost Tangerine Dream album that's been remastered, but that doesn't dampen the value of this album at all.

Much like Tangerine Dream and Schulze's music, all of Redshift follows their standard of epic track length Berlin school synth exploration put to a propelling beat that drives each track towards its finish line. What makes this album different are the breaks during some of the tracks that make way for very deep, empty, and galactic sounding voids that display a kind of malicious beauty. It may not sound like much, but it works well in contrast with the powerful kraut beats that break off right before. The progressions and developments in each track have a much more immediate or urgent than found in Redshift's earlier German inspirations, and some portions of these tracks take an imperial turn and become nearly symphonic. Beyond this, I'd say Redshift is very nocturnal, sounding rather dark but in a glimmering moonlight kind of way.

Fans of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze's classic eras, and even fans of Kraftwerk's more progressive works, should find Redshift very enjoyable. Not essential, but could prove to be a refreshing quencher for people who already have all of Tangerine Dream's best albums.

Report this review (#625772)
Posted Friday, February 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Tangerine Dose

3.5 stars

Can't get enough of vintage 70's TANGERINE DREAM music? More specifically, their 'golden' mid-seventies era with Peter Baumann? Do you own the "Bootleg Box Set Volume 1"? Then "Redshift" is the place for you! Entirely synthesized, the music features good old long pulsing and hypnotic sequences, pretty much in the style of the well-known trio. But, surprisingly, although released in 1996, during the electronic revolution of the nineties, the sonorities and ambiances sound really identical to the TD of 1974-1975. Apart from a cleaner sound quality, there are no genuine will of modernization or innovation, the band could have realized these tracks back in the days.

To make it simple, the title track is clearly a cousin of the 1975 album Rubycon. An atmospheric mysterious opening, followed by trippy deep and meditative sequences. Everything is here, even the beautiful contemplative ending ' la POPOL VUH, again like TANGERINE DREAM in the first half of the 70's. In fact, these 19 minutes could have been part of an improvised TD concert, a very good one, deserving to be selected for the great "Bootleg Box Set Volume 1" compilation. The best piece of the record.

The two short tracks do unfortunately not stand the comparison. "Spin" is spacey but not varied enough and tends to become a little repetitive. Despite its name, "Shine" is rather threatening and oppressive. Consider it as a lost track from "Sorcerer". The other long suite, "Blueshift", resembles this time the eponymous track of TD's "Phaedra", especially its first half, however more accessible than the original. The second half begins with experimental bizarre sounds... for the seventies. Then comes the slow and contemplative floating passage, and... 10 minutes of heartbeat. The organ-dominated ending wakes you up quite abruptly and is finally not very useful. The overall suite is cool but could have been shortened to 20 minutes.

Want your TANGERINE DREAM dose? Here it is. The recipe book from 1974-1975 is perfectly executed. Close your eyes and you'll be there. Nothing more, nothing less. The very nice long compositions are truly the main interest of the disc. Not original, but well done.

This first effort from REDSHIFT should please classic electronic Berlin School and Froese/Franke/Baumann's lovers.

Report this review (#1584134)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars If the debut album by Redshift has a flaw, it's that it accomplishes its goals too easily and shows little ambition to exceed them. Redshift play Berlin School-style progressive electronic music in the style of early Klaus Schulze or mid- 1970s Tangerine Dream, and they certainly hit the nail right on the head - but precisely because they are so beholden to that style, they don't do very much that's original or different with it, and nor do they give the impression that they were especially trying to. It's a fun album highly recommended to anyone who can't get enough of this style, but at the same time if you aren't keen on Phaedra-era Tangerine Dream you probably wouldn't enjoy it very much.
Report this review (#1766430)
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | Review Permalink

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